As a Christian woman hoping to find a partner who shares my beliefs, I’ve received plenty of advice on how to navigate the dating world. Not all of that advice has been appropriate for my own life, but some of it has really helped. I’ve yet to find a good Christian man who I could see as my future husband, but following these tenets has made looking for him so much more enjoyable and less stressful.
Keep an open mind. Most women have an idea of what kind of person they’d like to end up with, and that’s especially true for Christian women. However, I feel like holding fast to the idea that my future husband must be a man of the Church who has a close relationship with God and has faith as a central focus in his life is unnecessarily restrictive and reductive. Some of the best advice I’ve received as a Christian woman in the dating world is to expand my horizons a bit more because you never know what you might find.
Don’t lead with religion — it can wait a little while. I used to put my faith out there on a first date without wasting a second. I thought it was important for the guy I was dating to know that I’ve been saved and that I live my life based on my Christian beliefs. However, I’ve realized that’s the wrong way to go. It often scares guys off and it doesn’t have to. After all, I might find a really great guy who shares all of my values even if he doesn’t actually call himself a Christian. The important stuff might well already be there, but I could miss out on that by leading with religion. Unless I’m on Christian dating sites, I wait a bit before bringing this up.
Make your values clear from the outset. While I don’t sit down on a first date and immediately blurt out how much I love the Bible, I do make my values and standards very plain. For instance, I’m not planning on having sex until I’m married because I believe in the holiness of that commitment. I feel like a guy should know that so that we both find out right away if we’re wasting our time or not. If he just wants to hook up and get physical right away, it will never work. Whether you’re a Christian or not, pointing out the things that are important to you is really solid dating advice that I recommend following.
Don’t feel pressured to compromise. When you’re religious in a world that’s extremely secular, it’s hard sometimes not to feel pressure to conform to mainstream society. I often feel a bit ostracized from the “norm” because I stick so strongly to the principles of my faith. However, that’s never enough for me to compromise on my beliefs. Stay strong even when others make you feel as if you should change or “relax” to make them happier/more comfortable. There are people out there who will respect your values.
Look to the scriptures when you’re feeling frustrated. Dating sucks for Christian women just as much as it does for atheists. It’s a world that’s difficult to navigate and that can really get you down if you let it. When I start to feel myself going down that negative path, I know immediately what I need to do. I open my Bible and I find comfort in God’s word. As Ephesians 4:1-3 says: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” That gives me hope.
Show love and patience when seeing someone new. It’s so easy to judge people harshly and maybe even unfairly based on first impressions. However, a piece of sound dating advice given to me by my grandmother advised all people, Christian or otherwise, to exercise patience when getting to know someone new. You have to allow them to feel comfortable enough to show their true self before you can really judge whether or not they’re meant for you. I try to keep this in mind when on a first or even second date — though I never ignore blatant red flags.
Prayer always provides clarity. Sometimes I feel confused about someone I’m seeing or unsure about how to proceed. When that happens, I know that prayer will help me find answers. By conversing with God, I can understand my own thoughts and feelings better and find gentle guidance from Him. No, He doesn’t “talk back” or tell me directly what to do, but just the simple act of having that communion with God is often enough to bring me a sense of calm and clarity.
Place your trust in God — but also in yourself. This is perhaps the most important piece of Christian dating advice on this list. I have full trust that God will send me the husband that is meant for me in due time. I feel certain that if I keep an open mind, exercise patience and love, and lead with my values in place, the right person will eventually enter my life. However, for as much credit as I give God in this regard, I also make sure to give myself credit too. I’m the captain of my ship, so to speak, and I am in control of my life. I know what is right or wrong for me. As long as I stay honest and good, I know everything will work out.